Yosuke Honjo receives Leadership Award from University of Southern California

Mr. Honjo (right) with Mr. James Ellis, Dean of the Marshall School of Business at USC (Photos courtesy of USC APAA)

On April 10, Council Member Yosuke Honjo was honored by the University of Southern California (USC) Asian Pacific Alumni Association (APAA) with a 2015 Leadership Award. Every year, the APAA pays tribute to distinguished members of the USC community at its annual Scholarship and Awards Gala. USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye, several USJC Members in the area, and Los Angeles Consul General Harry Horinouchi were among the guests who attended the gala and congratulated Mr. Honjo. He graduated from USC's business school in 1998.

USJC Members at the gala: (L-R) Founding Chairman Tom Iino, Council Members Yuko Kaifu and Frank Buckley, USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye, Mr. Honjo, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors Gary Moriwaki, Council Member Stan Koyanagi, Senior Director of the USJC(J) Board of Directors David Nishida, Council Member Linda Taira


Masami Iijima, Chairman and Director of Mitsu & Co., Ltd., joins USJC Board of Councilors

Mr. Iijima speaking at the 2014 USJC Annual Conference

We are happy to welcome Mr. Masami Iijima, Chairman and Director of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., as a Member of the Board of Councilors. Mr. Iijima joined Mitsui in 1974, and after several leadership roles in Japan and abroad, became President & CEO in April 2009. In October 2014, he was a Keynote Speaker at the 2014 USJC Annual Conference (watch his speech here). He became Chairman and Director on April 1, 2015. We are grateful for Mr. Iijima's support and look forward to working with him in the years to come.


Emily Murase Elected to San Francisco School Board President

The wonderful news continues! On January 13, USJC Council Member Emily Murase was elected to serve as President of the San Francisco School Board. She became the first President of Japanese ancestry in the San Francisco School Board's 160+ year history. 

Read more in this press release from the San Francisco School Board.


Son of Baseball Legend Yonamine Named IBM Japan Chief

Great news to start a good year: USJC member Paul Yonamine is named President of IBM Japan (Read here)!

For a more detailed profile on Paul and his career so far, check out this Nikkei Shimbun article in Japanese.


Judge Patrick Oishi Participates in Judicial Exchange

(L to R) Judge Ichiko Suzuki, Judge Takehiro Yasunaga, Judge Patrick Oishi, Judge Kunitaka Iwasaki and Masahiro Hosono in Judge Oishi's courtroom

During December 2014, U.S.-Japan Council Member Judge Patrick Oishi of Seattle had the pleasure and distinction of meeting with judges and a public prosecutor from Japan, who were doing research and study of criminal law and jury trials in the United States. Earlier in 2014, Judge Oishi met with a different group of judges from Japan, who were also studying criminal law issues.

Judge Oishi, who currently serves as the Assistant Chief Criminal Judge of King County Superior Court, held two meetings with Kunitaka Iwasaki, Judge of Osaka District Court, Takehiro Yasunaga, Judge of Kagoshima District Court, Ichiko Suzuki, Judge of Sendai District Court, and Masahiro Hosono, Yokohama District Public Prosecutor’s Office. The meetings focused on a comparison of the U.S. jury trial system and the Saiban-in (Lay Judges) system in Japan, as well as criminal procedure and evidence issues in the two countries. Judge Oishi and his colleagues from Japan engaged in a very educational and enlightening discussion and comparison of the two criminal justice systems.

After the final meeting, Judge Oishi hosted the Japanese Judges and public prosecutor to a dinner on the Seattle waterfront. Fellow U.S.-Japan Council Member and attorney Lynn Hashimoto joined the group for dinner. Everyone enjoyed a very nice evening of delicious food, good conversation and camaraderie.

(L to R) Judge Ichiko Suzuki, Lynn Hashimoto, Masahiro Hosono, Judge Patrick Oishi, Judge Kunitaka Iwasaki and Judge Takehiro Yasunaga on the Seattle waterfront.


Japanese-American filmmakers provide different take on 2011 disasters

Council Members Dianne Fukami and Debra Nakatomi were featured in Japan Times! Their documentary, Stories From Tohoku, reflects on how Japanese Americans saw and responded to the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Read more


USJC Board Member James Higa featured in the Asahi Shimbun

On July 26th, USJC Board Member James Higa was featured in the Asahi Shimbun in an opinion piece titled "James Higa: Where Are the New Nomos in the Japanese Business World?"  Mr. Higa stressed the economical and intellectual importances of Silicon Valley to America and Japan. James Higa has worked closely on the U.S.-Japan Council's Silicon Valley-Japan Platform, creating a "key to the future of the Japanese economy," for not only tech professionals but for every discipline or industry. The US-Japan Council’s Silicon Valley-Japan Platform is a new initiative aimed at tapping into Japanese innovation by strengthening ties between small- and medium-sized firms and the global-leading resources of Silicon Valley.

 This Asahi Shimbun article is about the 2016 USJC Annual ConferenceTo continue reading the article, please click here.


Roy Amemiya to be Managing Director of the City and County of Honolulu

Great news for the new year: Council Member Roy Amemiya has been appointed to be Managing Director of the City and County of Honolulu! Roy has worked for the city before and returns with his experience as CEO and President of ‘Ôlelo Community Television.

For more information and the official press release, please read here.


Council Member Donna Cole and the Inaugural Japan Food Festival Featured in Houston Chronicle

Donna Cole, an advisory board member at the University of St. Thomas, helped guide the festival in celebration of St. Thomas' new course offerings on U.S.-Japan relations. She was assisted by several USJC Members and alumni of the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program.

Read here.


The Hon. Toko Serita featured in the New York Times

Judge Serita, a 2014 Japanese American Leadership Delegation participant and member of the Human Trafficking Intervention Court in Queens, New York, is highlighted for the Court's unique approach to solving human trafficking problems.

Read here.


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